MICHAEL WOODS has left Hartlepool United to sign for Harrogate Town.

The attacking midfielder was left out of the Pools squad for Sunday’s home defeat to Barnet and has ended his four-year stint at the club, returning to one of his former clubs.

Woods made 180 appearances for Pools and was last season’s top scorer.

Pools kept him at the club in the January transfer window amid interest from Exeter and Stevenage, while Salford and MK Dons were also interested during the summer.

“Michael approached us during the summer and expressed his desire to move on,” said Pools’ boss Matthew Bates.

“We’ve worked with him since, but last week he repeated his feelings over wanting to leave so the decision was made not to stand in his way.

“He’s been a good player for us over the years but this is probably best for both parties now so we move on and Michael leaves with our best wishes.”

Harrogate boss Simon Weaver said: “I felt we needed another ingredient coming into the squad, we know what he did first time round here, he’s moved on since then and so has the club, both have progressed nicely.

“When he last played here we trained one night a week and had nothing like the facilities we have now.

“He brings a lot of flair and can beat a man, relishes any opportunity to take people on and will fit right in with our style of football.

“It’s an opportunity for us to add another dimension to the squad and sometimes you need that in games, in the last ten minutes when you need that bit of creativity he can unlock defences that have been sitting back.

“He’s got a great attitude, he lives for football and will add a little bit of seniority to the squad at 28-years-old.”